Sophomore housing sign-ups resumed for the third time April 16 and will continue again April 18, according to an email sent to all freshmen last week, by associate director of residence life and housing operations Sean Berthold. The new sign-up time is also posted on the Office of Residence Life website.
The housing selection process began briefly April 16 between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Only students who originally were assigned a 4 or 4:15 p.m. random sign-up time were allowed to go through the selection process. The rest of sign-ups will be held April 18 from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The gap in registration ensures that technical issues don’t happen again, Berthold said in the email.
“Most of the issues and concerns we have seen with any selection process have occurred during the first 30 minutes, thus we want to ensure that those times occur on their own day,” Berthold said. “These students have also been the most impacted by these issues, and we want to ensure that they are not impacted a third time.”
The original housing sign-up day was March 25. The website stopped working and the sign up process was moved to April 9. The website went down a second time and ORL opted to delay housing registration again.
Berthold said spreading the selection process over two days allows students other options if their first option falls through.
Several causes of the website problems were identified by ORL and the website vendor. Those have been isolated and fixed, Berthold said in an email.
Some of the problems students experienced were not being able to see Wild Commons and certain Mashuda units as housing options, and not being able to add on a meal plan. Some students who had a 4 p.m. sign-up time were also not able to access the system until 4:15 p.m.
“IT Services and our application vendor have been great partners in this process to ensure that our system can handle the assignment traffic we have outlined,” the statement said. “We have tested these issues and verified with our vendor that they will not reoccur.”
One change since last year’s housing process is that freshmen are no longer required to use Internet Explorer on a PC. In past years, the application would not operate on any other web browsers, such as Chrome or Safari, nor on a Mac or other operating systems. Starting this year, there is no restriction on web browsers or operating systems.
“With any new application or upgrade, there is always the possibility of having some issues,” Berthold said in an email. “However, we did not anticipate the need to restart and reschedule the selection process.”
The website vendor is Residential Management Systems, Inc., a private company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have been in partnership with Marquette since 2004.
Andrew Tanner, vice president of sales at RMS, said the upgrade did not cause the disruptions experienced during either housing process attempt. He said the configuration settings of the website were largely what caused the problems, and those can vary from school to school according to their needs. Tanner said RMS can fix these technical issues in 24 hours on average, depending on what kind of problems occur.
Marquette and RMS staff will be on standby to assist with any issues that may occur during the housing process, Berthold said.